Smoking bans in restaurants have affected economic-related issues in a positive way, though some owners think this will negatively influence their businesses. A recent study indicated that the size of the Kingdom’s tobacco products market was estimated at SR 14 billion and the volume of every day expenditure on cigs SR 30 million. The investigation also noted that the Kingdom’s smokers ranked fourth globally, with each of them smoking 2,130 cigs every year, which is one of the highest smoking rates in the world.
At present, approximately 3,500 restaurants and coffee stores have been ordered by the Ministry of Interior to turn into tobacco-free restaurants or to shut down. However, investigators in the hospitality sector declared that the smoking ban would have a very important impact on restaurant owners’ customers.
“Restaurants will lose big amounts of money with such decisions. A noticeable restaurateur in Jeddah argued that Arab News that the restaurant’s daily profit of SR 10,000 is likely to be declined to SR 500 per day with the implementation of the new smoke-free law. Adel Makki, a member of hospitality committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, corroborated this.
When a businessman decides to open a restaurant, he joints into the project after conducting an investigation that takes into consideration the smoking cigarettes element as a main source of income, which is why he invests more than SR 10 million in such start-ups.